by Denver del Rosario
The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons subdued the University of Santo Tomas Lady Tigresses in four sets, 25-19, 25-18, 16-25, 32-30, today in the UAAP 78 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
The Lady Maroons proved to be the more composed team after surviving seven grueling deuces in the fourth set.
Rookie Diana Carlos and veteran Nicole Tiamzon spearheaded the Diliman-based squad with 15 and 14 points each.
On the other hand, Cherry Rondina and EJ Laure led the Lady Tigresses with 20 points each. UP took a nine-point lead early in the first set, 19-10, courtesy of UST errors.
UP ends it and wins against UST after a close fourth set, 25-19, 25-18, 16-25, 32-30.#UPFight
— Tinig ng Plaridel (@tinigngplaridel) February 28, 2016
The Lady Maroons ultimately snatched the set via an attack by Marian Buitre, 25-19. The host school breezed through the second set as they stringed six consecutive points for a 10-point lead, 22-12, three of which came from Tiamzon’s attacks.
Rookie Justine Dorog capped off the second set for the Diliman-based squad with an offspeed attack, 25-18.
However, the Lady Tigresses refused to give up as Laure led the onslaught with seven points in the third set, including the closing kill, 16-25.
In the fourth set, UP had its chance to close the set, 24-23, but an error by Buitre tied the game 24-all. UST staged a set point, 27-28, via a Rondina block.
However, Kathy Bersola responded with a block of her own to tie the set, 28-all. Finally, the Lady Maroons finally sealed the victory by denying Rondina’s attack, 32-30.
Team captain Kat Bersola, who contributed 11 points for UP, praised the team’s composure in the pressure-packed moments of the last set as a factor for their victory.
“Nakita ko sa mata ng teammates ko yung focus, at kumapit talaga kami sa set na yun,” she said. (I saw the focus in my teammates’ eyes, and we really held on in that set.)
On losing the third set, Bersola acknowledged the heavy serves of the Lady Tigresses as the reason for their breakdown.
“From the start pa lang, nakita naman na nahirapan kami sa first ball, and nagulat kami kasi hindi naman sila ganun mag-serve in the first two sets,” she said. (From the start, it is evident that we struggled with the first ball, and we were surprised because they didn’t serve like that in the first two sets.)
The host school will next face the National University Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday.